When your pride and joy has been off the road for over ten years, you could be forgiven for thinking that it may never return. That was the worry for the owner of this 4.7 Indy. Having used and enjoyed the car for a few years, he could see that the bodywork was deteriorating and that if he wanted to keep it for the long term, substantial work was going to have to be done.
As is often the case with restoration, once the years of hasty paint jobs and copious filler are removed, the horrors beneath appear. And there began a very long-term process of re-constructing the body and structure of the car. At times during this work one has to question the sense in continuing, but the owner is very fond of this car and resolved that he would complete it.
With much of the bodywork being carried out by Jim Henshaw, the car was then moved to McGraths in bare metal. That was two years ago. After a pre-fit of the trim, the car was sent for painting. The colour when the restoration had started was turquoise, but the original colour, which had been visible under some of the trim was bronze. Maserati Classiche confirmed the colour as ‘Bronzo’ with its original code and the paint was then mixed accordingly. It had been the owner’s ambition to repaint the car in this colour as it reminded him of the colour of printed circuit boards he used to build when he first started work!
Some of the trim required serious work – the front bumper was bent out of shape and the windscreen trims very pitted. Parts were repaired by McGraths and then sent for re-chroming and as the car started to come back together, attention was turned to the interior. Having been stored out of the car for some years, the original black leather had become very hard and brittle. However, after periodic attention with large quantities of hide food, the majority survived. New carpets had to be made by McGrath’s trimmer and some detail parts of the trim renewed as they had not survived being removed, but the overall effect is of a smart and original interior.
Mechanically, the engine was found to be in good condition and so no work was necessary apart from some precautions, like flushing the cooling system and re-building the water pump. The fuel system was completely restored however, as were the brakes and most of the front suspension. Once back in one piece, the time came to turn the key and the engine fired readily after its long period of slumber.
With many details still to sort and the weather deteriorating, it took a final push by Todd at McGraths to finish the car in time for the end of the year. Just before delivering the car, it was taken to the Auto Italia studio so that Michael Ward could work his magic. It will be the subject of a collectors’ guide in the magazine soon. And so, another McGrath restoration takes to the road again.
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